Amagi Brilliant Park

Title:Amagi Brilliant Park
甘城ブリリアントパーク (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: FUJII Yukiyo
Seiya was forced to accept an invitation to an amusement park by the mysterious and beautiful girl Isuzu. What he didn't know was that she would bring him to the decrepit Amagi Brilliant Park, Japan's most disappointing amusement park. Seiya is introduced to the leader of the Park, the "real princess" Latifah, who suddenly entrusts him with saving the park, which is in danger of shutting down. Amagi Brilliant Park, it turns out, is not just any amusement park, but rather one populated by fairies.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

13 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 7 8 6 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:2966#1552]
This was a surprising riot for me, especially considering my hot and cold reactions to comedy anime nowadays. Amagi Brilliant Park offers a fun take on fantasy-based anime as our male lead, Seiya, becomes manager of a rundown amusement part where many of the workers come from a magical land and have some sort of ridiculous persona that drives seemingly straight-forward situations to a ludicrous extreme. Memorable presences of this fun affair include the deadpan assistant Isuzu, the Bonta-kun look-alike Moffle, and the surprisingly perverted Tiramie. While the characters are defined somewhat by whatever quirky traits they have, Amagi Brilliant Park is smart enough not to rely heavily on overusing gags as it creates a good variety of comical scenarios with Seiya and the other park workers to keep things fresh and interesting for the anime's comedy. Also as this is a KyoAni title, character and scenery designs are pleasing on the eyes with their vivid color and good amount of visual detail, though animation shortcuts tend to pop up now and then. If you're a fan of comedy titles, this one is certainly a keeper, especially as it comes from the same writer behind Full Metal Panic.

Last updated Wednesday, October 12 2016. Created Wednesday, October 12 2016.
Unevaluated Devil Doll [series:2966#752]
Certainly not my first choice of this season, but this might at least be fairly amusing; episode 1 reminded me of Yūsha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shūshoku o Ketsui Shimashita.

Last updated Monday, October 13 2014. Created Monday, October 13 2014.
Rent Stretch [series:2966#628]
(Rent- or Watch+)

(All episodes watched):

Well, 'magic' in anime nowadays is usually a go-with-the-flow, don't try anything novel, cop-out rather than the amazing, mind-expanding, unconventional subject that you would have expected at one time. There are so many generic magic shows these days that one that is going to stand out from the crowd needs to have a genuinely original touch. Amagi Park might just have one: What if magic really exists in our present-day world, but even magicians can be lazy and sloppy? There's a run-down amusement park, on the verge of going out of business, which in fact is operated by magicians and magical creatures. And a seemingly ordinary guy is called upon (at gunpoint) to take control of it and turn it around. This might be fun. The show has a whimsical, goofy tone to it. If there's one thing that's difficult in anime it's good comedy, and somehow making shows which have nonsensical premises and are also funny and interesting must be about as hard as any task an anime maker could possibly undertake. I had been disappointed before, so I decided that I wouldn't hold my breath while waiting to see how Amagi Park worked out, but after episode one my feeling was so far, so good. The writer of the script or manga must have been the same person as was behind Full Metal Panic, by the way, which might be one reason to be optimistic.

Episode two provides a more thorough explanation of what exactly needs to be achieved to save the park, and what is liable to happen if it isn't. This is a serious matter and the stakes are high, which catches my attention. Also, apparently Seiya isn't just a perfectly ordinary teenage guy after all, which would make his selection for this job make more sense. The overall quality of writing and jokes is clearly a step higher here than with most anime. I like the way that magic is treated seriously rather than used as a cop-out to 'wow' the viewer without investing any serious talent. This way I can suspend disbelief and go with it. I decided that ABP would be a show which I'd probably be watching to the end.

Episode three was OK, but the measures Seiya is trying out haven't made much of a difference in attendance rates at ABP, and they seemed unlikely to do so from the start. Recruiting one extra viewer is hardly worth a day's work when literally thousands are needed and time is running out. So, I wish a more plausible plan had come together by this point. But the very fact that I care whether the park is saved or not says something. This show is modestly amusing, but the struggle to keep the park from closing doesn't seem to be being taken seriously enough; and since the jokes are of variable quality between different episodes, and therefore aren't funny enough to carry the show on their own, that's what it needs. For all the wildness and originality of the premise, the show didn't seem to be standing out from the crowd all that much. It's OK but not brilliant. Good premises which fail to live up to expectations seems to be a common occurrence this season. The trouble with pirate seals (seriously) in episode seven was more absurd than funny, and I wasn't laughing at absurdity. Just being bizarre doesn't necessarily make something funny as well. I was growing tired of this show, and almost abandoned it before episode eight, but I watched that one and it was better than the past couple. The story here was that Seiya was sick and various workers from the park took turns impersonating him at school, using a magical device that made them look (almost) exactly like him. In other words, some episodes are better than others.

Things get more serious in episode ten as we learn just what is at stake if the park can't attract the agreed number of visitors and is forced to close. Seiya's realization that he once met the Princess and made a promise to her when he was a child was sort of stereotypical, but I'm glad that there's an element of drama being added to the story now. The drama is intense enough to make the show worth watching at this point without great jokes—or many jokes at all, since the situation is very serious now. In episode twelve we learn whether the park will meet it's goal and stay open. But this felt like an arc conclusion rather than a climax to the series as a whole. Princess Amamiya has apparently been granted more of a stay of execution than being set free of her curse; and the thirteenth episode was omake rather than a climactic fight with the evil wizard. I had thought that maybe a romantic triangle would form that involves Seiya, the Princess and Sento, but no, that didn't happen. This has to be based on an incomplete manga. In short, ABP was a show with high potential which delivered on enough of that potential to be worth watching but was sometimes frustrating due to the potential which clearly wasn't being exploited.

Last updated Wednesday, March 25 2015. Created Thursday, October 09 2014.

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